A Study of Romans 14:17
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Here in the Sermon on the Mount, the kingdom of heaven does indeed speak of God’s sovereign rule – but it does so in the specific sense in which His sovereign rule bears directly on His redemptive glory that is seen in the salvation of sinners (the ones who inhabit this kingdom), and His purpose to bless them freely and fully and to provide for them the whole inheritance of eternal life and heaven itself, all based on the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
This kingdom spoken of here includes all the things of eternal life and glory that Christ as our Representative, Substitute, and Surety obtained for His people by establishing an everlasting righteousness of infinite value whereby God the Father is manifested as both a just God (who extracts a sufficient payment for the injury against His holy justice) and a Savior (who shows mercy to sinners, who violate or break His law) – and all of this based upon that satisfaction made by Christ – a righteousness that saves. It’s Christ’s establishment and imputation of righteousness that justifies and demands the regeneration and conversion, and the final glory in heaven of all whom Christ represented – all that the Father gave Him, all for whom He lived, obeyed, suffered, bled, died, and rose again – a righteousness that demands life!